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Nuclear Test Personnel Will Visit Pyongyang

20 Feb
An animation showing a tunnel (L) a nuclear device (C) and detonation (R) included in a short video released by Urminzokkiri, a DPRK state media outlet, on 17 February 2013 (Photos: Urminzokkiri screengrabs)

An animation of a tunnel (L) a nuclear device (C) and a detonation (R) included in a short video released by Urminzokkiri, a DPRK state media outlet, on 17 February 2013 (Photos: Urminzokkiri screengrabs)

DPRK state media reported on 20 February (Wednesday) that personnel involved in the country’s third nuclear test have been invited to Pyongyang, in a similar fashion to the personnel involved in the 12 December 2012 launch of the U’nha-3 rocket.  According to KCNA the group will include “scientists, technicians, workers, soldier-builders and officials who fully demonstrated the tremendous might of the great Mt. Paektu (Paektusan) nation by successfully conducting the third underground nuclear test will come to Pyongyang under the care of the Workers’ Party of Korea.”  Echoing recent DPRK rhetoric in public speeches and essays, KCNA described the test as “a historic result of the devoted efforts by the scientists, technicians, workers, soldier-builders and officials who have devotedly defended the party, revolution, country and its people on the forefront for an all-out action against the U.S.”

During their visit to Pyongyang the nuclear test personnel will “will spend significant days of Pyongyang visit, enjoying the greatest privileges and preferential treatment” and “spend joyful and delightful time at the People’s Open-air Ice Rink, Skate Park and other places.”  They will also pay their respects at the Ku’msusan Memorial Palace of the Sun, Kim il Sung’s birthplace and childhood home in Mangyo’ngdae and other locales.

Kim Jong Un and DPRK Leadership Ride Horses During Inspection of KPA Equestrian Training Ground (updated)

20 Nov

Kim Jong Un rides at the equestrian company of KPA Unit #534, which he later named the Mirim Equestrian Club. Riding alongside him are Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (L), VMar Choe Ryong Hae (background) and Jang Song Taek (R) (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

DPRK state media reported on 19 November (Monday) that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) inspected the equestrian company of Korean People’s Army [KPA] Unit #534.  KJU’s last reported public appearance was his attendance at a commemorative photograph session with participants in the 4th National Meeting of Mothers.  At the beginning of his inspection Kim Jong Un saw “training facilities and horses which lined for training, he watched service personnel’s training of horse riding.”

Kim Jong Un shakes hands with a a KPA commander who appears to be Gen. Kim Kyok Sik. Also seen in attendance is VMar Choe Ryong Hae (background, C) (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un (front row, R) dons a pair of customized Ray Ban sunglasses favored by his father, Kim Jong Il (1941-2011), and mother, Ko Yong Hui (1953-2004), during an inspection of the equestrian company of KPA Unit #534. Also seen in attendance is Jang Song Taek (L). Also seen in attendance in this image behind KJU and JST are: Kim Pyong Hae (L), Pak Pong Ju (back to camera, 2nd L), Kim Kyong Ok (3rd L), Gen. Pak Jae Gyong (3rd R) and VMar Choe Ryong Hae (2nd R) (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un salutes members of the equestrian company of KPA Unit #534 (Photo: KCNA)

Officers and service members of the equestrian company of KPA Unit #534 (Photo: KCNA)

Jang Song Taek (L) and Kim Jong Un (R) (Photo: KCNA)

At his inspection of this company of KPA Unit #534 KJU was accompanied by his sister Kim Yo Jong (Kim Yo’-cho’ng),  VMar Choe Ryong Hae (Director of the KPA General Political Department [bureau]), Kim Kyong Hui (KWP Secretary and KJU’s aunt), Jang Song Taek (National Defense Commission Vice Chairman and KJU’s uncle), Gen. Hyon Yong Chol (Chief of the KPA General Staff), Kim Ki Nam (KWP Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation [publicity and information] Department), Gen. Kim Kyok Sik (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff), Kim Yang Gon (KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department), Kim Pyong Hae (KWP Secretary and Director of Cadres’ Affairs), Mun Kyong Dok (Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang Cuty [municipal] KWP Committee), Pak Pong Ju (Director of the KWP Light Industry Department), Han Kwang San (Deputy [vice] Director of the KWP Finance and Accounting Department), Kim Kyong Ok (Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department), Ri Ryong Ha (Senior Deputy [1st Vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department),  Hwang Pyo’ng-so (Deputy [vice] Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department), Kim Pyong Ho (Deputy [vice] Director of the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department), Gen. Choe Pu Il (Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff and Commanding Officer of the KPA Northeast Military District), Col. Gen. Son Chol Ju (KPA Supreme Command), Gen. Pak Jae Gyong (Deputy [Vice] Director of the KPA General Political Department), Lt. Gen. Pak Jong Chon (KPA Supreme Command), Gen. Kim Yong Chol (Director of the NDC Reconnaissance Bureau) and Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok (Deputy [vice] Director of the KPA General Logistics Department).

Members of the equestrian company of KPA Unit #534 participate in a racing exercise (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un talks with members of the DPRK leadership about the premises of the equestrian company of KPA Unit #534, which were renamed the Mirim Horse Riding Club. Also seen in attendance is Kim Kyong Ok (L) (Photo: KCNA)

Senior Deputy (1st Vice) Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department and Member of the KWP Central Military Commission Kim Kyong Ok (L) talks to Kim Jong Un (Photo: KCNA)

According to KCNA “watching their brave training, he was satisfied with the fact that commanding officers and men are possessed of the admirable horsemanship” and KJU “recollected with deep emotion the feats performed by leader Kim Jong Il in guiding the work at this training ground, saying that President Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il were very good at riding horses.”  KJU and members of the DPRK leadership in attendance then rode horses around the premises.  KJU remarked that the equestrian grounds were “fairly good for riding.”  According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said, “If this training ground which was visited by Kim Jong Il several times is rebuilt into a modern ground for horse riding, this will mean better preservation and consolidation of the precious legacy left by him.”  One of these inspections to the equestrian grounds by Kim Jong Il was made in early November 2008, and was one of his first reported public appearances after recuperating from a series of strokes in July and August 2008.

Kim Jong Un on a horse during an inspection of the equestrian company of KPA Unit #534. A member of the Guard Command can be seen in the bacgkround. (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Jong Un rides during a visit to the equestrian company of KPA Unit #534 (Photo: KCNA)

(Photo: KCNA)

KWP Secretary and Political Bureau Member Kim Kyong Hui rides during her nephew’s inspection of the equestrian company of KPA Unit #534 (Photo: KCNA)

Kim Yo Jong, KJU’s younger sister and the niece of Kim Kyong Hui and Jang Song Taek, rides during her brother’s tour of the equestrian grounds. (Photo: KCTV/KCNA screengrab)

NDC Vice Chairman and KWP Administration Department Director, Jang Song Taek, rides during his nephew’s inspection of the equestrian company of KPA Unit #534 (Photo: KCNA)

KJU then named the equestrian ground of KPA Unit #534 the “Mirim Horse Riding Club” and he “called for renovating horse-riding club at an early date and presenting it to the people.”  According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un said:

Horse-riding is a very good exercise helpful for nurturing bravery.  It will help strengthen healthy spirit and physical body conducive to labor and defense.  Regular horse-riding exercises from early years based on education will develop muscles and prevent back ache even after becoming adults.  Horse-riding has caught worldwide interest.  Koreans have been fond of riding horses from the olden times and frequently held competitions on horseback, thus training their body and mind.  When renovated, the horse-riding club will attract lots of working people, youth and students.  The horse-riding will help them train their body and mind and give them pride and joy.  Roller skating wind is raging after the creation of skate parks in different parts of Pyongyang.  The same thing will happen after the creation of horse-riding club.  To promote horse-riding, it is necessary to provide necessary conditions.  It is necessary to arrange horse-riding club and, at the same time, create horse-riding school and teach not only horse-riding but horse breeding and taming.  Breeding healthy horses is important for the well operation of horse-riding club.

KCNA reported that KJU instructed “solving in time problems arising in breeding horses including the provision of fodder,” “called for timely producing horse-riding gears including riding suit” and that he “stressed the need to successfully renovate the club as required by the era of military-first (So’ngun) and provide the Koreans who are the best in the world with the highly civilized living conditions and environment.”

(Photo: KCNA)

VMar Choe Ryong Hae, Director of the KPA General Political Department (bureau), Member of the KWP Political Bureau Presidium and Vice Chairman of the KWP Central Military Commission rides a horse during KJU’s inspection (Photo: KCNA)

Chief of the KPA General Staff, Gen. Hyon Yong Chol, rides a horse during KJU’s inspection of the equestrian grounds (Photo: KCNA)

Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang City (municipal) KWP Committee and KWP Political Bureau Alternate (candidate member) Mun Kyong Dok rides (Photo: KCNA)

KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Department and KWP Political Bureau Alternate (candidate member) Kim Yang Gon rides (Photo: KCNA)

Director of the KWP Light Industry Department and former DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong Ju rides (Photo: KCNA)

KJU’s inspection may have occurred here in the Mirim area of east Pyongyang (Photo: Google image)

Opening of Ryugyong Health Complex, Ice Rink and Skate Park Held

10 Nov

DPRK Premier Choe Yong Rim delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the Ryugyong Health Complex, ice rink and skate park in east Pyongyang on 9 November 2012 (Photo: KCNA/KCTV screengrab)

Participants at a 9 November 2012 opening ceremony for the Ryugyong Health Complex, People’s Open Air Ice Rink and a skate park assemble on Chuch’esasangtap Street in east Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

DPRK state media reported on 9 November (Friday) that the Ryugyong Health Complex, People’s Open-air Ice Rink and the Pyongyang Skate Park was formally opened.  The ceremony was attended by DPRK Cabinet Premier Choe Yong Rim, Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary Choe Tae Bok, Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang City (municipal) KWP Committee Mun Kyong Dok, DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier and State Planning Commission Chairman Ro Tu Chol, senior officials of the DPRK Government and other institutions, the facilities’ employees, citizens of Pyongyang and Korean People’s Army [KPA] service members and officers who took part in constructing the facilities.  On 3 November, DPRK state media reported that Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) toured the facilities, prior to opening.  The ceremony and tour of the facilities was covered by BBC World.

Members of the central leadership attending the 9 November 2012 opening ceremony of the Ryugyong Health Complex, an ice rink and skate park. Among those seen in attendance are: Mun Kyong Dok (3rd L) Kim Ki Nam (4th L), Choe Tae Bok (2nd R) and Ro Tu Chol (R) (Photo: KCNA/KCTV screengrab)

Korean People’s Army service members attend the opening ceremony of the Ryugyong Health Complex, an ice rink and skate park in east Pyongyang on 9 November 2012 (Photo: KCNA/KCTV screengrab)

View of the opening ceremony of the Ryugyong Health Complex in east Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Participants applaud during a 9 November 2012 opening ceremony for the Ryugyong Health Complex, People’s Open Air Ice Rink and skate park (Photo: KCNA)

A view of a skate park in east Pyongyang formally opened on 9 November 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

A view of the People’s Open Air Ice Rink in east Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

A view of bathing facilities in the Ryugyong Health Complex in east Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

A sauna at the Ryugyong Health Complex in east Pyongyang (Photo: KCNA)

According to KCNA the Ryugyong Health Complex (see an aerial image here) has a “a total floor space of 18 379 square meters has modern facilities for bathing, hairdressing, beauty and massage treatment and fitness exercises” and it can serve “7,200 people a day.”  The People’s Open Air Ice Rink “has a total floor space of 6 469 square meters” and the Skate Park “has a total floor space of more than 1 3300 square meters.”  Both the ice rink and skate park are constructed to serve skaters “all year round.”

DPRK Premier Choe Yong Rim (2nd R) is briefed about the skate park on the Taedong River on 9 November 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

DPRK Premier Choe Yong Rim delivered the ceremony’s keynote speech in which he said “that the facilities are a product of the wise leadership and devoted efforts of leader Kim Jong Il and the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un and that they were built by service personnel and people through their patriotic efforts to devotedly carry out the plans and intentions of the party and the leader.”  KCNA reported that Choe “called upon all the officials and employees to take good care of the service facilities and equipment and minutely organize their service and operation in the spirit of rendering devoted service to the people and thus ensure that the WPK’s loving care reaches all of them.”

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